Contactless Technology & the Future of the Foodservice Industry
Images Retail|October 2020
The dine-in sector saw a drop of 6 percent in the number of restaurants in the first week of March, another 20 percent in the subsequent week. It all came to a standstill from April and lasted till mid-June. The only option left for many restaurants amidst the chaos was to become takeaway and delivery only outlets, explain foodservice industry leaders, while outlining their strategy to overcome the COVID era…
Charu Lamba

It is no secret that pandemic has impacted the foodservice industry just like any other industry in India. The industry relies on people who either step out of their homes or order in, but due to the pandemic, both mediums saw a sharp downfall in numbers. As brands looked for an alternative to continue operations, low demand, and social distancing norms led many brands shutting their outlets, especially the dine-in.

“The dine-in sector saw a drop of 6 percent in the number of restaurants in the first week of March, another 20 percent in the subsequent week. It all came to a standstill from April and lasted till mid-June. The only option left for many restaurants amidst the chaos was to become takeaway and delivery only outlets to ride out this pandemic,” says Kabir Jeet Singh, CEO & Co-Founder at Burger Singh.

“Certain sectors of the industry which were already in the delivery business have seen their business grow. However, the vast majority of dine-in facilities such as cafés, restaurants, bars and food courts in malls have been dealt a very severe blow with many casualties,” adds Kazem Samamdari, Founder, L’Opera.

Many restaurateurs have been quick to adapt to some changes in their business model to offer their customers more flexible, pandemic-friendly dining options.

Regaining Consumer Confidence


“We are all pumped up to step back in the game and step up with our work while ensuring that all COVID-19 safety norms issued by the government are followed stringently. Unlike previous times, we have decided to shift-schedule for our staff to abide with the preventive measures. The whole team has been allotted with flexible schedule to ensure the safety of both our customers and the staff. Only ve out of 24 staff working at the outlet will be attending the guests at a time. These measures will help us in maintaining social distancing as per adhering to government guidelines thus, catering to impeccable hospitality with safety and security.

From next month we are expecting to regain our guest by 45 to 60 percent,” says Shyam Thakur, Founder, RYU.

Burger Singh

“At Burger Singh, we launched a campaign called #YourSafetyFirst for our customers. An industry rst and integral part of the campaign was to provide our customers with the opportunity to check the CCTV feed of the kitchen for the duration in which their order was prepared. Under the same campaign, we also introduced an internal contact tracing and attendance app for our staff.

Frequent sanitisation of outlets and warehouses, daily temperature checks of staff and patrons, PPEs for our personnel, delivery vehicle sanitisation before dispatch, and mandatory hand sanitisation at 15-minute intervals are just some of the many precautionary measures taken by us. The staff is also provided with immunity booster vitamins and enhanced medical coverage. All staff members undergo COVID-19 antibody tests twice a month. To ensure contactless deliveries, we have switched entirely to online modes of payment and leave the order at the doors. The customer receives the food, a sanitizer pouch and the bill along with the details of the staff members who either prepared or handled their order.

To ensure a contactless dine-in/ take away experience, we have switched entirely to online modes of payment. The customer scans a QR code at their table or at the takeaway counter and a digital menu is made available on their phone. They receive a WhatsApp notification when the order is ready and can pick up their order from specially designated food pick up counters inside and outside the store,” says Singh.


“We are doing self-regulation, where we have created our own internal audit systems. We monitor this on a daily basis. We have created eight key safety measures:

1. We are following social distancing as per the advised norms.

2. We conduct daily sanitisation in our restaurant as set by the WHO.

3. We have started contactless ordering, payment, and delivery.

4. We conduct a mandatory thermal screening at entry point.

5. Aarogya Setu safety checks have been made mandatory.

6.. Our chefs underwent training for food handlers during COVID times conducted by FSSAI and are following the highest standards of hygiene.

7.. We have also introduced double layered packaging for our food.

8. The use of protective gear by our staff while handling and serving food.

What matters the most in regaining the customer confidence is being transparent about the safety measures in place for customer and employees,” Amit Bagga, Co-founder, Daryaganj states.


“The major concern of consumers, which includes all of us, is understandably food safety and hygiene. To address this, L’Opéra implemented a series of measure at its production centre, in all its outlets and its logistics and delivery infrastructure. These include personal hygiene measures such as personal protective equipment, frequent washing of hands, temperature checks, voluntary confinement at slightest suspicion of illness, multiple daily cleaning of exposed surfaces, sanitisation of the vehicles, reduction of dine-in seating places, temperature checks and sanitisation of hands of patrons at the entrance of the outlets, social distancing, etc. just to name a few measures.

In addition to these procedural measures, L’Opéra pioneered the individual packing of all its products, thus eliminating the danger of contamination once the items had left the production unit,” asserts Samamdari.


“We have come up with air-conditioned cabanas which have glass walls and sheer curtains in between to maintain distance between two groups. The seating and sta ng has been reduced to 50 percent to ensure social distancing. All other steps like constant check of temperature, hand sanitizers, gloves and masks have been ensured.

Additionally, we are not serving to any guests standing at the bar top. Our kitchen follows very strict cleaning and hygiene standards and still maintains the same. Food handlers ensure proper hand wash every half an hour. Use of gloves and masks is mandatory before entry to premises. All the crockery is sanitized with chlorine solution before final use,” says Akshay Anand, Co-founder, Ophelia.

First Fiddle F&B Pvt. Ltd

“We have taken a lot of steps to gain the consumer confidence back. We sanitize our tables after every turnover, we are operating only up to 50 percent of our occupancy, we make sure that tables are distant from each other,” says Priyank Sukh a, MD & CEO of First Fiddle F&B Pvt. Ltd.

Industry Speak


Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine


Permanent Shift in Consumer Behaviour Pushes Retailers Towards E-Commerce, Technology

Global retailers to focus on virtual try-on experiences, AI, technology and e-commerce to provide seamless user experience while maintaining the highest level of accuracy to the consumers…

5 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Phygital Retail Convention: What's Next – CEOs Talk Strategies, Solutions

Consumption is an such an integral aspect of modern lives that even a pandemic of the catastrophic proportions of COVID-19 couldn’t abate it. It did, however, create a big dent in consumer behavior and consumption patterns. Industry titans talk to solutions and strategies which can used to abate the negative effects of the pandemic…

3 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

The Unexpected Opportunity: How COVID Accelerated the Digital Journey of Brands & Retailers Along with Customer Experience

COVID has accelerated the digital journey of brands and retailers across industries and catalyzed innovations to offer customers unparalleled assurances and conveniences. IMAGES Retail brings views of leaders in the digital space from across retail verticals on how their organisations found opportunity in adversity and created innovation benchmarks that will define their growth and leadership even beyond COVID…

5 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Pandemic Learnings: Upcoming Mall Developers Talk Consumer Behaviour, New Mall Design

The pandemic-led shutdown of all economic activity threw the Retail and Shopping Centre industries into chaos. Mall supply was severely impacted, and the future of many projects still remains ambiguous. Those who managed to overcome the worst of the pandemic spoke to IMAGES Retail Bureau about how different the future is for them – namely, building agility and resilience to face uncertain times, being fit for growth by aligning costs with priorities and investing in differentiated capabilities and digital levers…

10+ mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Rewarding Customers for Walking-In is the ‘IN Thing for Retailers Today'

Retail therapy is the best therapy to beat the blues. Post an overextended period of lockdown, as much as everyone seemed enthusiastic to go and shop to their heart’s content, there were many safety concerns. However, the retail community in India ensured that they not just addressed these worries but also designed enthralling marketing strategies to entice people back into their stores. Here’s a quick look at things that worked to create sales way above the expectations of the retailers…

10+ mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

IKEA Focuses on Stronger Omnichannel Play, Local Sourcing in COVID Era

As a purpose-led company, during this time IKEA focused on safety and security of their people, building digital capabilities, meeting customers in new ways as the home became the center of everything in everybody’s lives. The brand aims to reach 100 million people in India online by 2022…

6 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Why Building Omnichannel Capabilities are Crucial for Retail Businesses

In the wake of pandemic, as digitalisation accelerates and consumer buying habits constantly evolve, the need for a sound Omnichannel strategy seems more important now than ever before…

7 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

E-Commerce Order Volume in India Clocks 36% Growth in 2020 Q4

E-commerce as an industry saw a significant uptick in demand. The last quarter showed the real reflection of changing consumer behaviour, and highlighted the actual shift to online shopping even after the lockdown was lifted...

5 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Fabric & Apparel Revenues Up In 2021, Other Sectors Follow Suit

While operating margins for spinners are likely to revert closer to pre-COVID levels, those for apparel exporters may remain marginally lower than the pre-COVID levels amid a competitive operating environment, wherein buyers could be expected to negotiate for steeper discounts…

5 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

The Evolving Roles Of Gold Jewellery: Recent Trends & What The Future Holds

With its universal value and stature, gold is often regarded as the best investment for common people. Gold is, and will always be at the top of the pyramid, and therefore India’s appetite for jewellery is pretty considerable…

4 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021